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Don Anderson

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I need help with a dilemma: What does it mean to be American? And Why does it work?

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Up-date to thread’s scope: (July 10th)

Thanks for all the comments, they have been very helpful.
I have sorted out my feeling on being American, it maybe a jumbled mess but it is working for me. And to avoid rehashing what has been said I’ll leave it at that.

But the large diversity of views here, and within America’s culture, politics, values, heritages, etc. I have to ask;

Why does it work?

By most standards we are a highly dysfunctional group, and should be a failed society.
But here we are a great nation, and by most logic that should not be the case.
Yes we are the home of the free and the brave, but also home of tyrants, cowards, passive, aggressive, moral and immoral and I could go on and on forever.

Americans are often labeled as racist and intolerant, if that was true we would not have more nationalities and different cultures than any other country in the world.
Being American is a lessen tolerance and that is something we can’t experience in heaven, but I feel the lessen goes deeper than that.


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Is American where you live, or is American a belief in freedom and liberty for all?

Firstly let me state I believe we are here to learn from experience that we can’t have in heaven. And recently I have had two events in my life that have me confused as to the lesion I should be learning from them.

My Background: I’m just an average lower-middleclass Midwest American.

Experience 1: I have been researching my ancestry for about a year now, and I feel pride with my findings. So far my ancestors range from English noble that came to America in 1633, to peasant framer and serving maid from Prussia (Germany) in 1820. No slave owners, only union army soldiers, fought for America in the war for independence, etc.

Experience 2: Many people throughout the world, now are fighting and/or protesting for freedom and libe

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    Jul 11 2013: sorry if others already asked this but what do you mean by "a great nation"? also, I don't see how being American "does work"? i'm assuming you're not including the millions of illegal residents, right? it doesn't exactly work for them, but there are also many Americans that aren't doing so well either
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      Jul 11 2013: A Great Nation as in A Great Power and by no means I’m I suggesting greatest nation/power, it is just one of many.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pre-modern_great_powers
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_of_the_Great_Powers

      The question is “Why does “IT” work?” with “IT” being (US of America as a nation), and not the people.
      With such a mix match bunch of people/cultures/religions/values/etc we should be so busy fighting, we should be a 3rd world country.

      Personal; Illegal residents have the American spirit, just like those in the Middle East fighting against tyrants, and to me that is what really matters.

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